Recent Mold Remediation Posts
Mold Growth Prevention for the Most Vulnerable Rooms
Mold Growth Prevention for the Most Vulnerable Rooms | SERVPRO of Piscataway
When you’re working on mold prevention, a well-ventilated home is a great place to start, but even the driest of homes will have damp spaces. Pipes, faucets and steam can all encourage mold growth, and the spores are notorious for their resiliency.
While the moisture is unavoidable, harmful mold growth is not.
We’ve handled quite a few mold cases, and we understand that even the most inconspicuous of situations can lead to the harmful growth. Mold infestations can be stressful, so use this helpful room-by-room guide to develop a prevention strategy for any home.
The bathroom generates the most moisture, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most mold-friendly areas in the home. Thankfully, prevention is as simple as a few regular habits:
- Each year, reseal tile grout to stop moisture buildup.
- Replace shower liners regularly and use a shower curtain that can be laundered.
- Crack a window or use a vent fan when steam starts to accumulate.
- Purchase a squeegee to rid the tub of excess moisture after each shower.
A laundry room isn’t the most likely room to harbor mold, but the pipes and machines themselves can lead to sneaky growth behind-the-scenes. Here’s how to prevent it:
- Examine pipes for leaks often.
- Remove clothes from the washing machine immediately after the cycle ends.
- Open washer and dryer doors after each use.
- Check the dryer vents regularly—lint can encourage mold to spawn.
Basements are notorious for dampness and mold, but they also have the most hands-off prevention strategies. Here’s how to keep your basement clear with a small time investment:
- Set up an automatic dehumidifier to keep humidity low.
- Clear out clutter that mold could hide behind.
- Insulate pipes to prevent sneaky leaks.
- Keep the foundation clear of standing water.
If you’re struggling with mold, SERVPRO of Piscataway knows how to help! Contact us today for tips on prevention or for mold remediation services.
Mold in the basement
Basement mold is often the result of a source of moisture — leaky foundations or condensation from appliances are typical culprits.
One of the first steps in the prevention of basement mold is to ensure that your basement is free of any moisture and doesn't support a damp, humid environment where mold can thrive. If mold in the basement is already a problem in your home, there are many options for the control and removal basement mold. Depending on the extent and severity of the problem, and the type of mold,you may need to explore options for professional mold removal. In particular, cases of severe toxic black mold growth may require professional care
Mold in the basement is a common problem, but by understanding how to identify problem areas and prevent and control mold growth, you can avoid the potentially costly and unhealthy spread of basement mold.
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7 Health Hazards Lurking in Your Basement
7 Health Hazards Lurking in Your Basement
Basements were once used solely as utility rooms that housed furnaces, laundry areas, and overflow storage for seasonal items, tools, and sometimes even root vegetables. Today, with the high cost of above-grade living space, many homeowners choose to finish parts of their basements to serve as living areas. While this is a great way to gain more space, if characteristic basement problems aren't resolved first, occupants of these finished spaces may be exposed to a higher risk of some health problems. Even if you have no intention of using your basement as living space, health hazards that originate there can spread to other parts of your home. It pays to be aware of the risks that dwell in your basement and that could potentially affect your family’s health.
Basements are damp, which is precisely the environment in which mold thrives. Any kind of mold, not just the deadly black stachybotrys variety, can lead to respiratory problems. Typical health symptoms associated with the inhalation of mold spores include a runny nose, excessive sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, or dry, itchy skin. Those with allergies can suffer broader, more intense respiratory effects, including difficulty breathing and chest tightness. To reduce the risk of mold, use a dehumidifier, seal cracks in the foundation, and replace carpeting with tile, vinyl, or another appropriate hard flooring.
- Non-Vented Dryer
Not every basement laundry area enjoys adequate dryer venting from the basement to the outdoors. Rather than running a vent pipe to the outside of the house, some homeowners opt to outfit the dryer with a device that catches lint and then recirculates warm air from the dryer throughout the basement. Unfortunately, the exhaust from the dryer also includes chemicals from laundry detergents, which are released into the basement air where they can trigger respiratory problems. If you spend any time in your basement, have your dryer vented to the outdoors.
- Sewer Gases
Sewer gases contain not only methane, highly toxic ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide, but they also include fumes from solvents and other chemicals that have been introduced into the sewer system. Sewer gases are most likely to enter your home through a dry basement floor drain: When the plumbing trap, which is designed to block gases, dries out, sewer gases will seep into the basement. To prevent health problems that come from exposure to sewage fumes, regularly flush basement floor drains with water.
- Carbon Monoxide
Fuel-fired furnaces are expected fixtures in basements, but without proper care and maintenance, they can produce a deadly by-product of combustion, carbon monoxide. This gas can then seep into the rest of the house, where it can create health problems and a dangerous risk of fire. Carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible and may not be noticed until occupants experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headache, dizziness, or loss of judgment. At high concentrations, carbon monoxide can even lead to death. If you have a gas- or oil-fired furnace, have it inspected annually, and use carbon monoxide detectors in the basement and in upstairs rooms.
- Stored Solvents
Basements are a favored storage spot for leftover cans of paint, and adhesives. Storing half-empty cans of chemical-laden mixtures can, however, introduce toxic substances into the air, because it's difficult to seal cans completely once opened. Exposure to those chemicals, also known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can lead to allergies and disorders of the central nervous system, and long-term exposure can result in chronic health problems. Inspect your stored solvents and discard any that appear to have leaked. And, the next time you buy paint or varnish, choose low-VOC products to minimize your exposure to toxins.
- Lack of Ventilation
If you’ve ever noticed a stuffy smell when you've entered a basement, that odor is most likely the result of poor ventilation. While stuffy air below-grade won’t affect anyone living upstairs, it can trigger asthma attacks or other respiratory problems in those who spend time in a basement bedroom or rec. room. If you’re going to use your basement as a living space, your best bet is to tie it into your home’s central HVAC system and open the basement windows frequently, even on chilly days, to let in fresh air.
Radon gas, which is produced by the radioactive decay of uranium, is present in soil, rocks, and even in the air you breathe. In small quantities, radon doesn't present a health risk, but when it's concentrated in a closed environment like your basement, it's a different story. In high-risk areas, radon has a tendency to seep through basement cracks. Radon can then become trapped in a poorly ventilated basement, where it can threaten the health of occupants and potentially increase their risk of developing lung cancer. Keep track of radon levels in your house by installing a couple of radon detectors. If a detector senses high levels of radon, the EPA suggests that you have your home treated by a radon remediation expert.
14 Surprising Places Where Mold Hides in the Home
14 Surprising Places Where Mold Hides in the Home
One of the most common living organisms in the world may have taken up residence in your home, and you may not even know it.
Mold—the common name for thousands of different types of fungi—can grow wherever moisture and organic matter are present.
- Under the sink
Mold thrives in a warm, moist, and dark environment—like the one found under most kitchen and bathroom sinks. Check these areas for condensation or plumbing leaks, and wipe down the interior of the cabinet under the sink with a bleach- or hydrogen peroxide-based cleaning solution to prevent mold from spreading.
2. Inside the Toothbrush Holder
A glass or ceramic container next to the bath room is a convenient spot to store a toothbrush. It's also, however, a perfect habitat for mold, which thrives on the water that drips from the toothbrush into the container. To prevent mold from growing, rinse and dry the interim of your toothbrush caddy on a regular basis. While you’re at it, wash the soap dish, including the underside, as well!
- In Your Filing Cabinet
Paper is constructed from wood pulp, which is an organic feast for mold spores. If your home experiences water damage or high humidity, then your paper files could become damp, putting them at risk of a mold feeding frenzy. Once paper has been contaminated with mold, it can be difficult or impossible to stop permanent damage to your files, so the best option is prevention. Be careful in damp boxes, attics, or basements, and consider running a dehumidifier in your home office during the muggiest months of the year.
- On (or in) Toys
Small children put everything in their mouths, and their toys can get pretty slobbery and dirty. Even hard latex toys can accumulate bacteria and moisture, making them ripe for mold growth. A regular trip through the dishwasher or washing machine should keep mold at bay.
5. Appliance Seals and Drip Pans
The seals, coils, and drip pans on many common household appliances, from refrigerators to washing machines, retain moisture—and where there's moisture, there can be mold! Add these hidden spots to your regular cleaning routine to prevent mold from gaining a foothold.
- On (or Under) Floor Mats
The ubiquitous doormat is great for scraping mud, grass, or snow off your shoes, but daily use traps moisture in and under the mat, creating a hospitable environment for mold spores to grow. To combat the spread of mold, rinse your mats regularly and remove them from the doorstep to give them (and the floor below them) a chance to dry.
- Carpets and Upholstery
Drapes, upholstery, and wall-to-wall carpeting trap a lot of dust, dirt, and skin cells, which are all food for mold spores. Add in a spill or plumbing leak, and you have the perfect breeding ground for mold. Minimize your risk of infestation by vacuuming regularly, washing with mold-inhibiting cleaning solutions, and drying carpets or upholstery thoroughly after a spill.
- Beneath Wallpaper and Drywall
Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there. Mold can hide behind wallpaper, under paneling, or even on the back side of wallboard. Make sure to regularly wipe down your walls and check the seams between ceilings and floors for any signs of mold. Before installing new wallpaper or drywall, prime the area with a mold-inhibiting paint to prevent any problems down the line.
- Plumbing and Ductwork
Pipes and ductwork can experience excessive moisture, especially in homes with average humidity levels of 60 percent or higher. To prevent mold growth on plumbing and ductwork, reduced indoor humidity levels to between 30 and 50 percent by weatherizing your home, fixing leaks, and running a dehumidifier. You can also consider installing an ultraviolet lighting system that will destroy mold spores as air passes through the ducts.
10.Around Boilers and Water Heaters
Boilers and water heaters typically have drains to remove the excess moisture and condensation that builds up in the course of normal operation. Unfortunately, these drains can become clogged or rusted, preventing liquid from being properly removed and encouraging mold growth on the walls, floors, even the air, around the malfunctioning unit. Inspect and clean your HVAC unit drains regularly to ensure that they are working properly and consider running a dehumidifier in rooms where moisture tends to collect.
11. Ceiling Tiles
Because pipes and ducts often run through the space above a dropped ceiling, this area is a magnet for moisture, dust, and mold. Tiles located around your HVAC vents are particularly susceptible to mold because warm, moist air is constantly circulating there. Inspect your ceiling tiles regularly to spot problems before they spread.
12.On Your Dishes
Everyone wants to save time and money, so it can be tempting to skip the dry cycle on the dishwasher to speed up dish duty and slash your energy bills. Just know that if you skip drying, you could be inviting mold into your kitchen. Dishes need to be thoroughly dry before you stack them in the cupboard, so if your dishwasher doesn't do the drying, you need to do it manually with a dish towel. Otherwise, you might find mold growing in between those stacked plates.
13.In Potted Plants
Over-watering will not only give your indoor plants root rot and drastically shorten their lifespan, but the excess moisture can also cause mold to grow on the surface of the soil and on the pots themselves.
14. In Your Car
Just as in your home, the carpeting, upholstery, and floor mats in your car can trap moisture and dirt, creating the perfect conditions for mold growth. To keep out moisture and mold spores, don't leave your car windows or sunroof open for long periods of time, and to prevent mold growth, Keep your car interior dry and clean.
If you have any questions feel free to contact anyone of our Service technician 24 hours a day 7 days a week 732-752-4445
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FAQ'S About Mold
FAQ’S about Mold
Being knowledgeable about the causes and risks of mold, as well as how to best remove and prevent it from happening can help you successfully deal with mold problems or avoid them. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about mold in homes:
What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that lives almost everywhere there is moisture, oxygen, and organic matter. Mold plays a significant role in nature as it helps decompose organic material. However, mold that is indoors can cause structural problems to buildings and homes.
1.Where does mold grow in homes?
Mold commonly grows in areas that are prone to moisture, such as the basementand bathroom. Mold can also grow in hidden areas of the home, such as behind walls, under the floor, in the air conditioning, the crawl space or in the attic.
2.When does mold become a problem?
Although all homes have mold spores in them, larger patches of mold growth can cause health issues and structural damage. Signs of mold in the home include a musty odor and the visible black or white specks in areas of your home that have a water problem
3. Can I clean up mold myself?
As it is always better to hire a certified mold removal company, you might be able to remove small patches of mold yourself (which are smaller than 10 square feet). When you’re not sure how to remove mold, or if the infested area is larger than 10 square feet, contact a qualified professional.
4. How do I clean up mold?
Mold is harder than most people think to clean up. You should wear protective clothing to reduce exposure to the mold. Then, you need to contain the mold, so that it doesn’t spread to other rooms. After that, fix the water problem and dry the affected surface. To clean up mold, scrub a mixture of household detergent and water on the surface (don’t use bleach).
5.How can I prevent mold growth in my home?
Preventing mold requires fixing moisture problems in your home. Repair leaks in the walls, roof, gutters, and plumbing pipes, keep indoor humidity at 30-50% by using a dehumidifier, ventilate appliances that generate moisture, and keep the gutter system clean.
We at SERVPRO of Piscataway are here to help if you have any questions or concerns.
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Mold in Winter Months
Mold is a word that can put fear in your heart as a homeowner. Mold in the home can make you and your family sick depending on what kind it might be. It also doesn't look very nice and can weaken your walls, ceilings and floors.
Mold is a type of fungus that naturally grows in many places, but inside your house it can pose a health risk and create negative air quality.
There are 2 types of mold Allergenic and Mycotoxin.
Allergenic mold is the one that is typically not a health risk unless you are sensitive to mold or have asthma.
Mycotoxin mold is toxic and hazardous for humans and pets and should be removed with extreme care.
We at SERVPRO of Piscataway will come to your home and perform an inspection to determine if mold is present and what steps need to be taken for remediation.
Here are some tips To prevent mold from occurring:
During the cold winter months make sure that your indoor humidity level is below 40 percent.
Remove possible sources of mold growth by vacuuming and cleaning. Pay close attention to bathrooms and rooms that generate a lot of moisture.
In bathroom and kitchen areas it is best to have and exhaust fan or open window when producing moisture from a hot shower. Exhaust fans should be vented to the outdoors and not in attic and crawl spaces.
Paper, books and clothing are food sources for mold so try not to store them in humid places like the basement.
If you are in need of assistance with what you may think is a possible mold issue feel free to call us at SERVPRO of Piscataway we are always here to help.
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